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West Jordan • A bank robbery suspect is dead after a shootout with police in West Jordan, which followed a robbery at local credit union and a chase, police reported Wednesday. Police identified the man as 40-year-old Jesse Jay Taylor, of Spanish Fork.
The armed robbery occurred at about 1:45 p.m. on Wednesday at the Mountain America Credit Union, 6761 S. Redwood Road, in West Jordan.
Police found Taylor in a truck and followed him in a "meandering path" to a location near 8880 S. 1075 West, where, at about 2:10 p.m., there was a shootout, said West Jordan police Sgt. Dan Roberts.
Neighbors heard the chase sounds of screeching tires, cars accelerating and police sirens from inside their homes, they said. Some came outside or headed to windows to watch.
Taylor raced around the neighborhood in a truck and crashed into a fence, witnesses said.
When he got out of the truck, Shane Parker said, Taylor ran east. Officers were yelling commands for him to stop, surrender and get on the ground, Parker said.
From a window in his home, Neil Benincosa said he could see multiple officers draw their guns. He heard officers giving commands, and one of them yelled, "He's got a gun," referring to Taylor. Benincosa then saw one of the officers fire at least two distinct shots, he said, though he couldn't see what the officer shot at.
Other neighbors Lisa Evans and Parker said they heard four to five shots, and when they looked, they saw Taylor on the ground. Neighbor Pam Anderson said she saw officers doing chest compressions. She had thought Taylor was dead at the scene, but Roberts said he was transported to a hospital via ambulance in critical condition.
Taylor later died, Roberts said, at about 4:30 p.m.
"Whatever happened here, the police officers had every right to do what they did," Evans said. They were trying to keep people safe, she added.
Multiple police agencies had responded to the robbery, Roberts said, adding that he could not immediately confirm whether an officer had even fired the shots that fatally injured Taylor. He didn't immediately know whether there was body cam or dashcam footage of the incident.
Roberts described the incident as "tragic for everybody."
Police confirmed that no officers were injured during the episode and a coalition of law enforcement agencies from Salt Lake County was investigating the incident.
A state law requires that officer-involved shootings be investigated by a separate law enforcement agency.
Utah court records show Taylor had long criminal history, but primarily one of non-violent misdemeanor offenses ranging from drug possession and use, to shoplifting, disorderly conduct and criminal mischief.
Most recently, Taylor was charged with misdemeanor counts of possession of heroin and methamphetamine, as well as possession of a pipe, after he bought heroin near the downtown homeless shelter in April.
Taylor resolved that case last Friday in 3rd District Court, by entering guilty pleas in abeyance to two class B misdemeanors. The court placed Taylor on court probation for 18 months and ordered him to submit to drug testing, and complete drug treatment and counseling. He also was ordered to pay a $500 fee.
Taylor's criminal history began in 1996, when he was 19, with a series of charges and subsequent convictions for possession of alcohol by a minor, court records show.
Reporter Bob Mims contributed to this story